The muscles and the ligaments that support your vagina and womb can become overstretched and weakened if you’re obese or after certain events, such as after childbirth or the menopause. This can cause your vagina and womb to drop down. Your bladder and bowel can also bulge into your vagina. The bulge of the womb, bladder or bowel into your vagina is known as a prolapse.
A vaginal prolapse can be repaired with vaginal repair surgery at Kingsbridge Private Hospital by our team of experienced experts. The operation helps to strengthen the walls of your vagina and will help to ease your symptoms.
What are the alternatives?
If your prolapse is mild, alternative treatments may be recommended to you before you have surgery. These include:
- pelvic floor muscle exercises, which will help to strengthen your weakened pelvic floor muscles
- vaginal pessaries, which will provide mechanical support to your prolapsed organs
These alternative treatments may help control your symptoms. However, if your prolapse is more severe, you may need to have surgery. Your surgeon will discuss your options with you.
Preparing for vaginal repair surgery.
Vaginal repair surgery usually requires a hospital stay of one to two days, depending on the type of surgery you have and how well you recover. The operation may be done under general anaesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure, or under local anaesthesia, which completely blocks any pain from the area. You will stay awake during the operation under local anasethesia.
How long does vaginal repair surgery take?
The operation usually takes about an hour but this will depend on the type of operation you have. The exact type of surgery you have will depend on where your prolapse is and how severe it is.
Recovering from vaginal repair surgery
It usually takes about six weeks to make a full recovery from vaginal repair surgery, but this varies between individuals, so it's important to follow advice from your surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast.
It’s best not to have sex until at least six weeks after your operation. Your surgeon will give you advice about when you can resume your usual activities and return to work at your follow-up appointment.
What are the risks?
As with every procedure, there are some risks associated with vaginal repair surgery. Risks are specific to each patient. You will be advised of any risks during your consult at Kingsbridge Private Hospital.
Side-effects are the unwanted but mostly temporary effects you may get after having the procedure. Side-effects of vaginal repair surgery include:
Complications are when problems occur during or after the operation. The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
Complications of vaginal repair include:
- infection – you may need to take antibiotics to treat this
- problems passing urine – this usually improves without further treatment
- mesh-related complications – your surgeon will discuss these with you before surgery
Vaginal repair surgery doesn't always repair a prolapse completely and some women find that the prolapse comes back. If this happens, you may need more surgery. Vaginal repair surgery may not ease the problems a prolapse can cause, such as bladder and bowel symptoms or resolve sexual problems. It’s important that you discuss expectations at your consultaiton.